The Canada West Equipment Dealers Assn. (CWEDA) recently announced an investment of $250,000 in support of Parkland College’s Trades and Technology Centre in Yorkton. Contributions to the College’s capital campaign total approximately $4.75 million.

CWEDA’s contribution will support the delivery of 24 students per year at the Trades and Technology Centre in the field of Agricultural Mechanics. This will allow the College to provide and educate a qualified labour market pool, which will in part support Agricultural Equipment dealers in the region, province, and Western Canada.

“One of our goals is to assist members with recruiting, training, and retaining qualified employees,” said CWEDA President Cameron Bode. “This investment will help ease the burden our members are facing when it comes to finding skilled workers.”

“I would like to thank the CWEDA for its generous commitment to the Trades and Technology Centre and commend Parkland College for its vision and dedication to this project,” Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris said. “The Trades and Technology Centre will support the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth by training more students in highly skilled areas and will make it possible for students from the Yorkton area to learn closer to home.”

The Trades and Technology Centre brings a significant expansion of services and programs to the Parkland Region. The facility will provide the space to train more than 350 skilled graduates per year and upgrade the skills of 2,000 workers annually in a variety of fields that are experiencing a labour shortage throughout the province, such as mechanics, power engineering, and welding.

“We are grateful for CWEDA’s generosity,” said Parkland College President Dr. Fay Myers. “This gift is a major investment in first-class educational opportunities for students and supporting dealer needs across Western Canada.”

Backed by a $10 million investment from the Government of Saskatchewan and capital campaign support from dozens of community groups and businesses, Parkland College is moving quickly to build the Trades and Technology Centre. Construction is set to begin early this spring on a parcel of land donated by the City of Yorkton along Highway 9 North, between Darlington Street and York Road. The facility is scheduled to open in September 2015.

“We’ve said all along that colleges build communities and communities build colleges,” Dr. Myers added. “We are happy to welcome CWEDA as a partner in our effort to strengthen Saskatchewan and to offer new opportunities to the Parkland region.”